Andrew Basham makes one last run with Lynnwood
The 6-foot-4, 305-pound UW recruit hopes to help end the Royals' football playoff drought in his final season.
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Andrew Basham and his friends hatched the plan on the kids' football fields of Lynnwood five years ago.
Basham and his Lynnwood Tigers went unbeaten during their Boys & Girls Club season. They decided they would stick together and turn around a high school program that hadn't made the playoffs in more than a decade.
But as Basham begins his senior season, he's the only one still playing for Lynnwood High School. Many others are playing for other schools.
"He wanted to change this program around," said Ron Basham, Andrew's father. "I thought he could do that."
It has now been 16 seasons since the Royals played a postseason game. Basham, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound tackle who has committed to Washington, emphatically says that streak of futility will end this year.
"The playoffs are a real goal," said Basham, who plays on both lines for Lynnwood. "It's almost a guarantee for us."
That may be overstating it. The school has moved up one classification this year, and will try to accomplish in 4A what it couldn't do in 3A.
"We're past the point of building," said first-year coach Adam Fermstad, an assistant at Lynnwood the past two seasons. "We're finally at the point of having the team we want after a couple of years.
"We've got talented guys," Fermstad said. "Disciplined guys."
Basham is at the top of that list.
The Royals senior has speed and athleticism to go with his size. He played running back and tight end in youth football, and was put at linebacker and other positions in his first three years in high school.
"I could (not) care less," Basham said of where he plays. "I love the game more than a position."
His effort has never been questioned.
"He's always had a work ethic," Fermstad said. "But after that (the UW commitment), it just went through the roof. He often looks like a man against boys the way he pushes guys around. It's amazing."
Basham has had to learn to channel his aggressiveness.
"I've actually gotten in a lot of trouble for hurting my own guys," he said. "I haven't been allowed (in practice) to hit guys as hard as I wanted since early last year."
Coaches put him on a "Protect and Kill" plan — protect your teammates, but take care of opponents.
Friday against Shorecrest, Basham starts his final run at glory with Lynnwood.
"I can definitely see us doing it," he said.